Sunday, July 24, 2011

CNN Executive on Mobile News and The Need for Original Content

As noted in a Joongang Daily article today, Tony Maddox, 50, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International, based at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, believes that not many people sit in front of the television to watch scheduled news and that is why CNN doesn’t feel threatened by the introduction of social media but “embraces them.”   As readers of this blog may know, I've been interested in television news for a long time.  It was the topic of my doctoral dissertation at Stanford, which later was expanded into my first book, Television's Window on the World, which is still available via many bookstores and can be downloaded free of charge from Google Books.  The book examines ten years of U.S. network television coverage of international affairs back in the pre-CNN, pre-internet era.  My interest in television news continued over the years, and I wrote two Headline Series monographs for the Foreign Policy Association, the latest of which was The Internet and Foreign Policy.
Now, back to the Joongang Daily article based on an interview with CNN's Tony Maddox. Today's consumers, he said, are not going to tie themselves to scheduled TV news. "They want TV news when they want it, on the go."

Maddox explained that as a result of the expanding platform of the Internet and mobile and iPad applications, to meet soaring demand, “more people access CNN content and read, listen and watch stories today than at any point in history.”
Under Maddox’s direction, CNN has been spending “enormous sums of money” since 2007 to add more correspondents to cover the world, which he said was in contrast to other media companies that have been reducing the number of foreign correspondents to cut back on expenses.

This is a move, Maddox said, that CNN has taken to “distinguish itself in the marketplace” in such an era in which everyone can say they are a reporter by having a mobile phone in hand.

The basic points made by Maddox apply not only to news, but to other forms of information as well. Despite the flood of information unleashed by the internet and the rapid spread of mobile devices, people everywhere long for high quality, accurate, trustworthy and credible information.

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